Japanese Reach K2, But Won’t Be the Only Elite Alpinists on the Mountain

Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima have reached the West Face of K2.

While K2’s normal Base Camp is starting to fill, the Japanese climbers remain isolated at the foot of the West Face. They even need to level the ground for their tents.

“We have some civil engineering work ahead to make our tents as comfortable as possible,” the climbers told Ishii Sports. “We are tackling a difficult challenge and expect to spend a long time here.”

Big plans on K2?

This weekend, Sajid Sadpara posted this photo on Instagram:

The climbers in the street in Pakistan,

Sajid Sadpara with Ales Cesen, left, and Tom Livingston in Pakistan. Photo: Said Sadpara/Instagram


The picture shows Tom Livingstone of the UK and Ales Cesen of Slovenia. Livingstone and Cesen haven’t revealed their plans, although Cesen recently posted that he was training for “a big one” in Pakistan. The younger Sadpara has let slip that they may be heading for Broad Peak and K2. We will have to await details.

In 2018, Cesen and Livingstone, with Luka Strazar, climbed a new route on Latok I. It was just the second climb overall on that 7,145m peak.

the climbers pose for a selfie smiling, with moutains behind

Left to right, Luka Strazar, Tom Livingstone, and Ales Cesen on Latok I in 2018. Photo: Tom Livingstone


Other well-known figures are heading to K2 as well, including Valery Babanov of Russia, who attempted Everest without O2 this spring. In the photo below, taken in Skardu, he stands beside Jorge Egocheaga of Spain.

the climbers at Skardu airport, in front of the plane

In the middle, Jorge Egocheaga of Spain and Valery Babanov of Russia. Photo: Valery Babanov/Instagram


Naila Kiani of Pakistan summited K2 last year and is now returning to the mountain to lead a cleaning expedition.

Gasherbrum II

Horia Colibasanu of Romania is heading to Gasherbrum II, as the next stage on his no-O2/no porters 14×8,000m project. In a previous conversation with ExplorersWeb, the Romanian climber said he had some big ideas for future Himalayan expeditions but struggled to find partners to carry them out. He reached Skardu two days ago with a fellow Romanian partner, who is still unnamed.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.